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Joe Buck Set To Call 7 Games In 7 Days

“It’s an impressive two-sport week for Buck, who was recently announced as the 2020 Pete Rozelle Award recipient, earning him a spot in Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame.”

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Busy is an understatement for the week of broadcasting Joe Buck is about to endure. Seven broadcasts in seven days for Buck on FOX, including three NFL games and four World Series contests. 

Not to minimize regional baseball broadcasters who can go a month without getting a day off during the regular season, but the seven major sporting events Buck will be calling next week as he criss-crosses the country further validates his elite play-by-play status. 

Just a few months ago, Buck and other broadcasters were craving live sports during the COVID-19 induced shutdown. To stay sharp, Buck even offered to provide play-by-play of anything, or almost anything, he drew the line at NSFW videos. Seven months later, he has three NFL matchups and four World Series games to attend in the span of one week. 

Tampa to Buffalo to Arlington to Philly and back to Arlington is Buck’s travel schedule as he begins Sunday with America’s Game of the Week, calling the highly anticipated matchup between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. On Monday, Buck and Aikman are back at it 24 hours later, calling the Chiefs-Bills game at 5pm ET. 

Tuesday and Wednesday will see Buck call Games 1 and 2 of the World Series in Arlington. Thursday night is back to the NFL as the Giants play the Eagles in Philly. Friday and Saturday will see the World Series resume from Arlington for Games 3 and 4. 

It’s an impressive two-sport week for Buck, who was recently announced as the 2020 Pete Rozelle Award recipient, earning him a spot in Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame. Equally impressive was 2012, when Buck had a two-sport day, calling an NFL game between the New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers at 4:25pm, then moving across town for Game 1 of the NLCS between the St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. 

Sports TV News

NFL Considers Ending Pro Bowl Amidst Low Ratings

“Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports the future of the Pro Bowl was discussed on Tuesday during the owners’ meetings in Atlanta.”

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The NFL is obsessed with TV ratings. It isn’t a surprise that the league may not be willing to tolerate the Pro Bowl underperforming for much longer. 

In 2022, the NFL’s all-star game produced it’s lowest ratings in 16 years. Fewer that 7 million people tuned in to watch the game across ABC, ESPN and DisneyXD. 

“The (Pro Bowl) game doesn’t work,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Tuesday after the owners’ meeting in Atlanta. “We need to find another way to celebrate the players.”

There are two proposed alternatives that have been reported. The Washington Post says the league is considering launching a seven-on-seven competition. It would not include tackling or full clocks. The other report comes from Ian Rapport of the NFL Network. He says the league is considering hosting a series of skills competitions over the course of what would be branded an all-star week. The NFL has partnered with DirecTV in the past to present similar events during Super Bowl Week. 

No details have emerged or final decisions made. Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports the future of the Pro Bowl was discussed on Tuesday during the owners’ meetings in Atlanta.

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Sports TV News

Former Hulu Exec Michael Schneider Hired To Run Bally Sports+

“Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.”

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Sinclair Broadcast Group and Diamond Sports Group have tapped Michael Schneider as the chief operating officer and general manager of Bally Sports+ when it launches this year.

Schneider will oversee the direct-to-consumer platform that will also be the hub for Bally Sports live programming.

Schneider previously was VP of brand and content marketing at Hulu, where he had involvement in various marketing efforts for Hulu + Live TV.

“Throughout his career, Michael has successfully launched and developed DTC streaming and service platforms and created immersive engagement experiences,” said Sinclair COO and president of broadcast Rob Weisbord. “He is a terrific addition to the team as we build out the Bally Sports+ offering, its exclusive content and passionate fan community.”

Even before Hulu, Schneider had a hand in streaming. He was a founding member of the PlayStation Vue launch team.

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Marquee Sports Network Weighs Streaming Options Outside of Bally Sports+

“Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.”

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As Sinclair Broadcast Group prepares to launch Bally Sports+, its direct-to-consumer platform that will be home to Bally Sports live events, the Chicago Cubs are weighing their options for Marquee Sports Network, which the team co-owns with Sinclair.

Despite being under the Sinclair umbrella, Marquee is its own free-standing RSN from the rest of the Bally Sports networks across the country.

Marquee is readily available on a number of cable providers, but the only thing that’s really missing is its own standalone streaming platform for games. Marquee GM Mike McCarthy said to Sports Business Journal there’s no rush, but the network is hopeful they can have something in time for the 2023 season.

“We’re always interested in being on the cutting edge with the ultimate deliverable to our consumer,” McCarthy said. “But there isn’t any contractual clock ticking to make us feel that way. It’s how we’ve approached things from the beginning. Between our two ownership groups, there’s a lot of aggression to get it right. And I think you’ll see something along those lines shortly.”

The TV ratings will always be of top interest for MLB, especially regional ratings. But as the league has worked to embrace more streaming options for games, striking deals with Apple and Peacock for rights this season, it’s all about providing what the fans and viewers want.

“We now have the ability to do so much more, to properly tell the story of a 162-game season,” said Crane Kenney, Chicago Cubs president of business operations. Kenney was instrumental in the launch of Marquee. “We love baseball, we love the game, and we love the opportunity we have to share it with our fans in really deep ways.”

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